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Dublin: 13°C Sunday 3 July 2022

'How would you feel if it was your son?' - family tell of finding seriously injured nephew in road after hit-and-run

21-year-old David Kelly was seriously injured in the incident which happened in the early hours of Monday morning.

croom Croom, Co Limerick Source: Google Maps

THE AUNT OF a young hit-and-run victim has described the dreadful moment she and a friend came upon her beloved nephew, covered in blood and lying in the middle of the road, believing a young cow had been knocked down.

Garden centre worker and part-time barman David Kelly (21) was walking home after attending a social gathering in Croom, Co Limerick, when he was struck by a vehicle in the early hours of Monday.

35-year-old Joanne Kelly said she and a friend were returning home from a charity event when they came upon Kelly lying in the middle of the Croom-to-Ballingarry Road.

“I jumped out of our car after I saw something on the side of the road, I thought it was a young calf that had been knocked down. I didn’t realise until I got closer that it was a person,” his aunt said, speaking at her home.

I ran over and bent down over him. There was a lot of blood and I knew the person had obviously been hit by something.

“When I bent down I realised it was David,” she said, fighting back tears.

It was a terrible shock. I was horrified, absolutely horrified.

She explained: “To find a person on the side of the road is shocking enough, but, when you release it is one of your own family, it’s worse again.”

It was horrific, just to see him thrown there, lying in a pool of blood on the ground. It was a wet, cold, miserable night, and somebody left him there.

Appealing to the driver to “please come forward”, she added: “How would they feel if it was their son left lying on the road…Please come forward and put our minds at rest, so that we know who did this.”

She said when she found her nephew, he was lapsing “in and out of consciousness”.

“He’d answer us, only barely. We kept taking to him to let him knew he wasn’t alone, and we were with him, and there was help on the way.”


She said her friend, who is an emergency hospital nurse, “held David’s neck in place”, and helped keep him stabilised on the side of the road as they awaited the arrival of paramedics who transferred Kelly to University Hospital Limerick (UHL).

“She doesn’t want to be named, but I just want to say she was amazing,” she said.

She’s a close friend of the family and she did everything she could for David at the side of the road. We’ll never forget her for it.

David Kelly sustained fractures to two vertebrae in his neck, a fractured wrist, as well as sustaining a large wound to his head which required more than 100 stitches.

He is due to be transferred to Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, for surgery on his neck in the coming days, according to his aunt.

“It’s just so hard to come to terms with. Every time I close my eyes I can see him lying in the middle of the road. That’s an image that will stay with me forever,” his aunt added.

It’s something that will never go away. I just pray to god that the gardaí find whoever did it.

Gardai are conducting house-to-house inquiries in the area, and are also studying local CCTV cameras as part of their investigation.

Joanne Kelly appealed to mechanics and vehicle repair services, and anyone buying second-hand vehicles, to be “vigilant”, and to call gardaí if they suspect a vehicle may have been involved.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Newcastle West garda station on 069 20650.

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About the author:

David Raleigh

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